A company employee and keto follower fed up with choosing between the convenience of plain coffee or the hassle of wrangling multiple ingredients and the messy, time-consuming preparation to make butter-style coffee at home worked with Nestle's R&D US Accelerator to create Boosted Brew KETO Coffee Enhancer.
The keto-friendly, functional and shelf stable coffee creamer "is the convenient way to bring a great tasting, functional boost to your coffee at home" that aligns with the keto diet without the mess and need for a blender, said Joanna Yarbrough, Head of U.S. R&D Accelerator, Nestlé.
While a quick look on Amazon reveals quite a few products claiming to boost coffee to align with the keto diet, Yarbrough said that "Boosted Brew stands-out from the competition by delivering on convenience, experience AND taste."
She explained many "competitive products require use of blenders or other tools to blend the product, and leave you with clumps of powder that don't fully dissolve or a layer of oil on top that is unpleasant to drink."
Boosted Brew's blended formula, however, "simply stirs into your coffee with a spoon, and fully blends to deliver a great taste experience."
It also delivers a touch of sweetness without added carbs by using allulose, which Yarbrough said avoids "the bitter aftertaste of high intensity sweeteners, while still allowing the great coffee taste to shine through."
Boosted Brew's appeal to black coffee drinkers expands category
Because Boosted Brew does not "completely transform" the taste of coffee or the drinking experience, Yarbrough says it is bringing new consumers to the market.
"We did observe outstanding results in our initial market test, showing impressive incrementality with this new product," she said.
According to the company, a six-week in-store test saw 88% of sales from new category buyers.
"One of the most important insights we could draw from the test was the products' ability to attract black-coffee drinkers, or consumers who are not currently whitening their coffee with coffee creamers, or are adding their own coffee enhancements at home from their pantry, like cinnamon," Yarbrough said.
She added: "With keto remaining one of the top diet trends in the U.S., and consumers in general looking for solutions that bring more functional benefits to the food and beverages they enjoy, we believe the potential for this product is strong."
Room for innovation abounds
While a slew of new keto products were on display at Natural Products Expo West and are hitting store shelves, Yarbrough says the keto market is far from saturated and there is plenty of opportunity for innovation and growth.
In particular, she says she sees significant potential for keto compliant products beyond coffee enhancers -- especially in the out of home market.
"We're already seeing restaurants adding Keto dishes or even sections to their menus and expect this will continue," she said.
At home, she added, "consumers are looking for healthier carbs to add to their diets – and specifically ones that are convenient for their lifestyle."
With that in mind, she added, Nestlé will continue to innovate to meet evolving consumer needs.